2018 Community Information and Resource Fair in Garden City

wide shot of exhibits
By Jamie Hess Smith, Program Mgr., IDOC Volunteers, Religious Activities & Veteran Services

The IDOC Honor Guard kicked off the ceremony by posting the colors. 

Courtney Haro Hayden and Bambi Calloway bravely shared their personal stories about how serving time in jail and prison impacted their lives, their family’s lives, and how they’ve overcome dependency on alcohol or drugs. Both were incredibly positive, encouraging, and an inspiration for others who face the challenge of reentering society from incarceration. 

IDOC Deputy Director Jeff Zmuda provided a vision for reentry at IDOC and the current efforts being made to reach that vision. 
Idaho Commission of Pardons and Parole Executive Director Sandy Jones educated the audience about parole process. 

IDOL Director Melinda Smyser was energetic, dynamic, and focused the audience on the resources available at Idaho Department of Labor. 
Dee Sarton inspired the group with her positivity and her hope for a better Idaho – she closed with the following quote, “Alone we are smart – together we are brilliant.” 

Awards were given to Jody Peterson for her ground breaking work at Interfaith Sanctuary and Joe Howell with Ace Industrial for his efforts in providing sustainable employment to offenders coming out of prison. 

We had over a hundred participants take advantage of the resources offered at the Fair.

One parolee timidly walked in and said he was here “because his PO told him to be.” Later, he walked out with confidence and new job to report to the very next day! 

That is an example of why we hold the Community Information Resource Fair (CIRF) and the impact it can have on a person’s life. 

Story published: 08/20/2018
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